When we bought our house last year we inherited a dying peach tree and another dead tree that was unidentifiable. We’ve been living with these dead trees in our yard for a year now, so this winter we decided it was time to cut them down and use the wood as firewood for our den and on our next camping trip.
But we also needed to build a firewood rack to keep all of the wood organized and easily accessible.
To start this project we need to get our tools and personal protection equipment sorted out.
STIHL MSA 200 C-BQ Chainsaw
We will be using our STIHL MSA 200 C-BQ cordless chainsaw to cut down these trees. To break down the firewood we’ve also got a STIHL hatchet to help with the process.
We’ve had our STIHL chainsaw for a couple of years now and we used it extensively when we first moved in to help clear the property.
Even if you’ve used a gas or cordless chainsaw before, it’s important to read over the manual that comes with the STIHL MSA 200 C-BQ, before using it. Certain controls and features may differ from what you’ve used before with chainsaws.
The previous owner had left a huge pile of yard debris from other trees that had been cut down, but they never removed them.
Every time we use our chainsaw we check the following:
Make sure the bar oil is topped off.
Check the chain tension by grasping it from the bottom and looking for it to “snap” back into position. If it’s too loose it is an easy adjustment to tighten.
Use a full-charged battery.
Give the saw a good visual inspection and make sure the brake works and everything sounds good.
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
Once our chainsaw checks out we make sure we have the proper personal protection equipment. Using the proper safety equipment is a requirement, not an option when using a chainsaw. PPE is inexpensive and widely available online or at your local home center. Here’s what you need.
Chainsaw leg protection that fits over your pants and covers the top part of your boot.
Head protection and face screen
Mid to high work boots
Cutting Down and Removing the Dead Trees
Once you are ready to cut down your tree you need to first assess the surrounding area and make sure it is clear for the tree to fall.
Check the area not only in the direction you want to fell the tree but also every other direction in case you miscalculate where the tree lands.
The smaller dead tree is in a nice open area, but the larger dead tree is just next to a chain-link fence. There is an open space for it to fall into and fortunately no overhead wires and no buildings nearby.
Once we cut the tree down we used our chainsaw to limb the tree and the hatchet to cut down the smaller pieces.
Our chainsaw was necessary to cut the trunk down into smaller pieces and we used our hatchet for cutting the larger branches into kindling.
We ended up with a kindling pile and firewood pile, so nothing went to waste.
Anytime you are cutting limbs near the ground be extra careful as to prevent your chain from touching the ground and make sure your feet are in a safe position.
Making the Firewood Rack
There are a lot of different firewood rack designs out there, but the best we’ve seen is also the most simple to make.
To build this firewood rack we used four 5 foot pieces of 2×4 and two cinder blocks.
Position each 2×4 inside the open end of the cinder block facing away from each other.
This will form two V-patterns which will provide the support for your firewood rack.
It’s that simple!
What’s great about this firewood rack is that you can easily break it down and store it in the summer or if you need to move your firewood pile to a different location.
It’s also very inexpensive you can paint the cinder blocks or 2x4s to change the design.
The next time you’ve got a dead tree in your yard, use your chainsaw to take it down and reuse the wood for camping or to help heat your home.
This post is sponsored by STIHL, but the content and opinions are 100% those of Timothy Dahl of Charles & Hudson.